Picks and Pans Review: The Slayer

updated 12/06/1982 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/06/1982 01:00AM

What epithets are left for bad low-budget horror movies? The feeble plot of this one is where old clichés come to die. For starters, there are these four vacationers in an old beach house on an island that hasn't been inhabited for decades. The doors creak, rain storms hit only at night and the pilot who flew the lucky ones there gives manic warnings about impending doom. Each, of course, is murdered in turn. Screenwriters J.S. Cardone and William R. Ewing (also the film's director and producer, respectively) have created potentially interesting characters: a married actress and her TV-commercial director beau, a frustrated M.D. and a frightened artist. But their roles are badly acted and never developed. One of them, trying to work up some tension, implores herself and the audience to "Stay awake, that's all you have to do." Easier said than done. (R)

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